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The DOCUMENTARY

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About The Series

What will the new economy look like? As startups become the new way of life, Australia must become more open and less restrictive to encourage innovation. Hear entrepreneurs' firsthand accounts of their journey and learn what that has meant to the startup world.

This podcast will give you a great insight into Australia’s innovation ecosystem by tracing its history and future. If you're curious as to how it all started, who were the innovators that helped transform it, and how this ecosystem interacts with others both domestically and around the world- this is a must-listen!

This 6-part audio documentary and its accompanying 150+ interviews is a deep dive into the startup scene, both past and present and takes an exciting look at the future of Australia’s technological and economic transformation.

Join us on this exciting journey, celebrating what has been accomplished and asking hard questions about where we’re heading and whether we’re on the right track.

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PROMO_Cameron Adams_00a
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PROMO_Peter Davison_00ab

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Part 1

Trailer

Summary

In this episode, we explore the seed phase of the Australian startup ecosystem, tracing its roots to some of the earliest catalysts to what we see today. Australian pioneers started innovating well before anything resembled an ecosystem and before the term “startup” was used. We tell the story of trailblazers like the Nucleus Group in 1964, Fairlight in 1975, Computershare in 1978 and much more. 

We look at how the macroeconomic conditions in the late 70s and early 80s encouraged the “first great wave” of Australian startups, only for global capital markets to collapse suddenly in 1987. As the new millennium approached, we highlight how the mainstream adoption of the internet gave rise to some of our most recognisable dot com juggernauts, the likes of Seek, REA and Carsales, leading up to the dot com boom.

Featured Guests

Listen to their full interviews by clicking the images below. 

PROMO_Malcolm Turnbull_00aa
PROMO_Rachael Neumann_00aa
PROMO_James Alexander_00aa
PROMO_Alan Jones_00aa
PROMO_Matt Barrie_00aa
PROMO_Tim Fung_00aa
PROMO_Cameron Adams_00aa
PROMO_Maxine Sherrin_00aa
PROMO_Paul Bassat_00aa
PROMO_Hamish Hawthorn_00aa
PROMO_Kate Cornick_00aa
PROMO_Alfred Lo_00aa
PROMO_Pete Lead_00aa
PROMO_Peter Davison_00aa
PROMO_Evan Thornley_00aa

Part 2

Trailer

Summary

Episode 2 begins in the aftermath of the dot com bust. We explore the story of LookSmart through the lens of its co-founder, Evan Thornley and the tough choices he had to make. Up until this point, founders largely worked in isolation, however, they began to meet up more frequently after the bust, often in pubs or cafes, thanks to community groups like Innovation Bay. Conferences such as TinSHED and Web Directions would shine a spotlight on the fledgling startup ecosystem. We tell the story of some of Australia’s first high growth startups in the early 2000s. The likes of Atlassian in 2003, Campaign Monitor in 2004, Red Bubble in 2006 and many more. Startup infrastructure followed shortly after and we saw the country’s first incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces emerge. 

Just as things were finally looking up, another economic crisis had gripped the world once again. The Global Financial Crisis in 2008 undoubtedly caused a lot of grief, however, Australia was spared the worst of it. We highlight how the GFC held some unexpected benefits for Australian startups. As the end of the decade approached, new inventions like smartphones and social media and the mainstream adoption of Wi-Fi would come to touch every aspect of our lives, laying the foundation for a new wave of Australian startups – some of the most disruptive that Australia and the world would come to see.

Featured Guests

Listen to their full interviews by clicking the images below. 

PROMO_Yasmin Grigaliunas_00a
PROMO_Phil Morle_00a
PROMO_Jodie Fox_00a
PROMO_Dean McEvoy_00a
PROMO_Simon Thomsen_00a
PROMO_Niki Scevak_00a
PROMO_Ian Gardiner_00a
PROMO_Mick Liubinskas_00a
PROMO_Silvia Pfeiffer_00a
PROMO_John Allsopp_00a
PROMO_Alan Noble_00a
PROMO_Phil Hayes-St Clair_00a

Part 3

Trailer

Summary

In episode 3, we take a deep dive into the birth of the Australian startup ecosystem. Although everyone may have a different perspective on what caused this “cambrian explosion”, we discuss 7 key catalysts in this episode.

We shine a spotlight on the who, what, when, where and why of this critical event that formed much of what we see around us today. But underneath all this growth and excitement, we highlight that the ecosystem may perhaps still be far from perfect.

Featured Guests

Listen to their full interviews by clicking the images below. 

PROMO_Murray Hurps_00aa
PROMO_Melissa Widner_00aa
PROMO_Emily Rich_00aa
PROMO_Annie Parker_00aa
PROMO_Michael Batko_00aa
PROMO_Peter Devine_00aa
PROMO_Rohit Bhargava_00aa
PROMO_Terry Hilsberg_00aa
PROMO_Yolanda Redrup_00aa
PROMO_Colin Kinner_00aa
PROMO_Lauren Capelin_00aa
PROMO_Cheryl Mack_00aa
PROMO_Christina DeLay_00aa
PROMO_Peta Ellis_00aa
PROMO_Petr Adámek_00aa
PROMO_Sarah Pearson_00aa
PROMO_Wayne Gerard_00aa
PROMO_Zoe Piper_00aa
PROMO_Colette Grgic_00aa
PROMO_Georgie Turner_00aa
PROMO_Baden U'Ren_00aa
PROMO_Dharmica Mistry_00aa
PROMO_Peter Bradd_00aa
PROMO_Rachel Yang_00a
PROMO_Susan Oliver_00aa
PROMO_Wendy Perry_00aa
PROMO_Zrinka Tokic_00aa
Steve Grace

Steve Grace

Steve Grace explores how covid has altered the ways companies do business Steve Grace is CEO and founder of The Nudge Group, which works with startups and scale-ups to support them through various stages of business growth. Based in Australia, The Nudge Group has...

Peter Tippett

Peter Tippett

Peter Tippett discusses the future evolution of company ownership and management Peter Tippett is a serial entrepreneur with decades of experience working in startups both in Australia and around the world. He is currently working on three ventures, all of which he...

John Allsopp

John Allsopp

John Allsopp discusses the startup ecosystem's evolution from a “community” to an “industry” John Allsopp is an author, web developer and conference organiser who’s been working in Australia’s startup ecosystem for nearly three decades. In 2006 he co-founded Web...

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